If you are involved in sales, marketing or business development and your company deals with selling to the public sector, you’ll know that the state and local (SLED) government market is vast, complex and contains many challenges. Your firm must meet these challenges to build a winning public sector sales strategy.
The companies that are the most successful at selling to the government must understand the uniqueness of this market. They need to drive higher rates of revenue growth in an efficient manner, all while keeping costs down. A growing number of companies who are seeing success in this marketplace are doing so by investing in sales tools and processes designed to boost their government sales revenues.
Along with investing in the right tools, successful government contracting businesses are taking proactive steps to get smarter and more efficient. Here are five tips that your business can use this year to optimize your government sales processes and grow your sales to state and local governments.
The government contracting marketplace, while full of valuable opportunities, is also extremely competitive. Companies can’t assume that just because they won a big contract or two, they’ll be able to keep up with their rivals. Doing the same processes and expecting even better results will likely not work in the new, more competitive landscape.
Widen the Target
A common mistake government contractors make is to focus on too small of a market segment, thus missing out on thousands of potential leads. Many l exclusively with federal government contracts. Others focus on only the largest cities in their area.
Onvia’s market research team found that the 10 largest cities account for only 13% of overall spending by U.S. cities. If you don’t have the bandwidth or the tools to effectively target opportunities from the smaller cities and counties, you’re likely missing out on projects that are a good fit for your company’s solutions.
The most successful contractors are able to gain visibility into future leads more than six months before those leads turn into actual bids or RFPs. They are able to do this in two ways: By examining the budgets and spending plans published by government agencies to find out when they’ll be purchasing new products and services, and by projecting when existing contracts are coming up for renewal and finding the opportunities where their company has a good chance of winning the business.
As of 2017, there are close to 90,000 state and local government agencies in the U.S., each of which have their own unique websites to monitor. Companies that use an external tool for generating leads from all of these agencies are able to scale their businesses up by finding the best, most suitable leads while saving on in-house labor costs.
For example, United Rentals, a leading equipment rental provider, has said that moving from in-house lead generation to Onvia’s B2G lead generation solution “probably saved us 8-10 people a year,” all while allowing them to grow their government contracting revenue by 10x in four years.
Once your company has invested in the right tools and implemented the right processes, you will want to track your results to prove that your new B2G sales process is succeeding. Sales leaders should be prepared to provide examples of why their sales enablement tool is a good investment. One way to do this is by tracking “cost per lead” – found by dividing monthly spending on your purchased lead generation solution by the number of relevant leads you have found during that month.
Interested in getting all the information you need to further develop your public sector sales strategy, and in learning how to overcome the most common challenges in government contracting? Click below to request your complimentary Guide to Building a Winning Public Sector Sales Strategy today.